Saturday, December 25, 2010

O Christmas Tree

This year, Green Valley Christmas Trees kindly treated me to a mail-order tree to decorate and share with you here. I chose a 4 ft Fraser Fir and it's just stunning, even at this small size. I love the neat definition of the branches in this particular type of tree. I knew it deserved some first rate trims. I decorated it with some store-bought finds as well as 32 handmade ornaments (whew!), in five styles (one of each is pictured below). I know, Christmas day has come to a close, but I wanted to provide templates and brief/informal tutorials just in case you'd like to try these next year.
Click the photo above for a larger view.

The Felt Pinecones, were inspired by my mom's friend Denise who made little brown ones to top off a woodsy s'mores kit. I also used Suzonne Stirling's tutorial for Family Circle as guide (she has a much tidier method for transferring the pattern to the felt, and other great tips). Here's how I made mine: Gather the template, scissors, a pen, felt, fabric glue and a wooden skewer. Use the template to trace and cut 6 small, 8 medium and 12 large felt pinecone layers. Then stack them on the skewer in the following order 1 S, 3 M, 12 L, 5 M, 5 S. Stagger the points to make the pinecone look realistic and dab a little glue between some of the layers to help secure it - especially top and bottom layers. Trim away excess skewer. Form the point of the pinecone by pinching it at the bottom and securing with glue. Finish the top by cutting a felt circle about the size of a nickel. Poke a hole in the center and thread ribbon through for hanging. Attach to pinecone with glue.
For the Paper Cone, download the template and trace onto patterned card stock. Cut out, then score and fold along the dashed lines. Glue closed using the tab and let dry. Decorate with desired trims. For mine, I sewed a crepe ruffle from a party streamer (this makes a great garland as well; set your machine to the longest stitch and it should gather as you sew). I also added velvet ribbon, a wired pom pom handle and holly leaves made from cut paper, velvet flocking powder and a bead.
The little putz-style Church Ornaments are my absolute favorites! The template I used is from the Little Glitter Houses site (scroll to the bottom of the page for the church). I scaled the template down a bit in order to make it appropriately sized for an ornament, and used thin white cardboard and Tacky glue to construct them. Poke a hole in the roof of the steeple and thread with a loop of string for hanging before completely assembling. Also, cut an "X" with a craft knife in the back wall of the church, so you can poke a light through when you hang it. I free-handed the windows and cut them out with a craft knife, adding window frames cut from card stock as well as a door. The rest is just painting, glittering and decorating. For the pipe cleaner wreath, bend a pipe cleaner over on itself and twist it together, then wrap around a circular object to give it its shape, and glue to church. Cover the seam with a bow.
For the Glitter Ice Skates, I used watercolor paper because it's sturdier than card stock, and I happened to have a pad of it that was going unused. I find it works well though. Using the template, cut two skate shapes and one blade for each ornament. Glitter the skates with iridescent white glitter and the blade with silver glass glitter (I gave the blades a coat of silver paint and let it dry first). Once the glitter is dry poke holes through one side of the skate with a sturdy pin and sew on "laces" with silver embroidery floss and a needle. To complete the ornament glue together the two skate shapes with the blade and a loop for hanging sandwiched in between. Place under a heavy book or clamp together with clothespins as it dries. As a final touch, glue on a 1" pom pom as shown
For the Glitter Leaf, use the same method as the ice skate. The leaf shape is provided on the template. Cut two and glitter the sides that will face out (leaves are not symmetrical). You can give them a base coat of paint the same color as the glitter if desired. String a loop of ribbon through a bead before gluing between two glittered leaf shapes. Clamp and let dry.

23 comments:

Abby's Paperie Garden said...

I adore your handmade ornaments and will definitely give them a try next year! Thanks for sharing.

Abby

Stacy's Designs 88 said...

Livy, it's just spectacular! Love it...as always. Your special touch is just priceless. Have you considered working at Martha Stewarts? Your work seems to be a perfect fit. Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! Hau'oli Makahiki Hou/Happy New Year from Hawaii, Stacy

Emom said...

Everything is beautiful.....I am tired of the holidays...but your tree made me smile....

Kathy Martin said...

This is the sweetest little tree! I love that you made so many of the ornaments! Thank you for the templates and links!

postcards and pretties said...

that is one of the prettiest tree I've seen in a long time

Craftiness NOW said...

gorgeous tree and ornaments, love them all, happy holidays!

Suzonne said...

Beautiful, Livy! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Michelle*G said...

This is lovely! Thank you for the inspiration!

Cynthia L. H. said...

Stunning!
;^)
Thank you for sharing!!!
;^)

Lian said...

O Christmas tree, indeed! :)
Hope you had a merry little Christmas, Livy! :D

Kirsten said...

I can't believe you made those!!! Stunning, and looks like a fun afternoon craft to spread over a few days. Wish I had known about this earlier!

~Kirsten
http://triplemaxtons.blogspot.com

Bespoke Letterpress Boutique said...

My goodness, your so talented! your tree looks amazing!!!

amanda jane said...

the pinecone ornament is my favorite. :)

Antoinette said...

Absolutely stunning! I can't stop reading your blog.

antoinettemusik.blogspot.com

Joy Burkhart said...

Hi Livy,
I love your ornaments and thank you so much for providing the templates and directions!
xoxo
Joy

Aimee said...

What a sweet little church/house, I think Im going to do that one with my little daughter this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

Mel M. M. McCarthy said...

Your tree is perfection! We're buying artificial this year for the first time. We used to buy potted & plant it out. I'm so excited to try making some of your ornaments. Thank you so much for sharing all the details & templates. :o)

Kelley said...

These ornaments are beautiful! I've put a reminder on my calendar for next year for my granddaughter (she's 2) and me to make them.

Sarah B. said...

These are all stunning. I think I'll try making the paper cone first. Thank you so much for the template! What talent you have.

Cuscini said...

The style of my Christmas tree is a similar to yours, with woodsy accents like pinecones and forest animals. Yours is making me swoon as I start to plan for Christmas 2012. Can you tell us more about your garland? I'm thinking of making it from either a gorgeous ribbon gathered in the middle or a serged and gathered length of muslin, and wondered if you'd made yours as well. Thanks for the lovely inspiration!

Livy said...

Yes, I did make my garland by sewing a crepe paper streamer down the middle on a long stitch with loose tension — the sewing machine with gather it for you!

aimee said...

I love your tree your decorations are beautiful xxx

Avant-Gardenist said...

★ This post is now two christmases old, yet it sparkles as fresh and new as ever! ★

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